Traveling Lecturer: A Technical and Professional Visit

By Yang Yue, Juniper Networks, USA | Posted: 4 April 2017

On March 22nd, I visited the Ningbo University Student Chapter of OSA in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. The chapter is in the laboratory of Infrared Materials and Devices (LIMD) of Ningbo University, Key Laboratory of Photoelectric Materials and Devices of Zhejiang Province. 


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Traveling Lecturer: A Truly Rewarding Experience

By Paolo Minzioni, Università di Pavia, Italy | Posted: 3 April 2017

After almost one year following the initial contacts with the OSA Student Chapter at Malaviya National Institute of Technology (Jaipur, India), I was finally able to take part in the OSA Traveling Lecturer Program. I must say that it really was a fascinating experience, which will probably have an impact on the future of several people. The only real issues I had to face were those related to securing a visa - this is just to recommend all of you that will be participating in the program to take visa issues properly into account!

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Traveling Lecturer: Learning Beyond the Lab

By Lund University OSA Student Chapter, Sweden | Posted: 2 March 2017

Antigone presented her 'skill bill' lecture about the importance of developing additional skills during your education and career in order to further it. The reasons and the way of furthering were not the classical idea of financial gain or prestige but more about your personal best and what you as individuals would be happiest doing as well as how to further the quality of the work. 

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Traveling Lecturer: Traveling to New and Unknown Places

By David Hagan, CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, USA, OSA Fellow | Posted: 27 February 2017

When I was first contacted by NISER student chapter officer, Samir Kumar, to visit as a traveling lecturer, I must admit I have never even heard of NISER, or the city in which it is located, Bhubaneswar, India. I was glad that we were eventually able to find a date for me to attend.   

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Traveling Lecturer: Late Night Conversations turn to Collaboration

By Antigone Marino, Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems, Italy | Posted: 27 February 2017

A few month ago I was in Rochester, NY for FiO2016. The meeting agenda was so busy, like always it is. Although tired, the day always ended with a group of us chatting in the hotel lobby about optics, science and life. As if all of us wanted to draw as much as possible on the opportunity of being there. A few months later, I received an invitation to visit the Lund OSA Chapter in Sweden. I had to arrive in Sweden to realize that the invitation was coming up from one of this moment in FiO, in which you meet someone new, without having the possibility to deepen into a topic or a friendship.

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Traveling Lecturer: An Experience to Remember

By Anderson S L Gomes, Universidad Federal of Pernambuco, Brazil, OSA Fellow | Posted: 27 February 2017

It was my first - hopefully not the last - experience as OSA traveling lecturer, which was very enriching both scientifically, personally and from the cultural pooint of view. Although I had been in India before, this time I interacted with students in different places (Mumbai, Chandigarh and Delhi). The students were very pro-active during the talks, as well as the professors who attended (about 25 people in the audience). I visited several labs where the students showed their ongoing work, som e of which was of mutual interest. I firmly believe this is one of the most important OSA programs, together with the Students Chapters program itself, since gives the students opportunity to discuss their research with more experienced people from abroad. For the OSA members, it is very important to know their local way of life both personal and scientific, which by the way was of very high standard. It was a fantastic experience.

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Traveling Lecturer: On the Trail of the Wild Hog

By Volker J. Sorger, The George Washington University, USA | Posted: 13 February 2017

They call them the fly-over states. The middle of the country (US that is). But, that such a statement is clearly wrongly placed, I experienced first hand.

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Engaging CCNY with Photons

By Yang Yue, Juniper Networks | Posted: 9 December 2016

On December 5th, I visited the OSA City College of New York (CCNY) Student Chapter in New York, USA. The visit was hosted by CCNY OSA Student Chapter advisor Professor Robert Alfano, president Nicholas Proscia. Furthermore, I had the great opportunity to had 1:1 meetings with professors Robert Alfano, and Vinod Menon before and after my talk. We shared the latest academic/industrial trend during these meetings.

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Branching Out and Making Connections

By Andrea Armani, University of Southern California | Posted: 6 December 2016

One of the main reasons that I pursued an academic position is my passion for mentoring and encouraging students in engineering and science. Unfortunately, the further that I progress in my career, the less time I have to spend time with students outside of my research group. Conferences can be very rushed, making it challenging to really connect with new colleagues. While Department seminars provide a solution for new faculty members, finding a similar alternative venue to meet students and post-docs is still a challenge.

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From Engineer to Career: How to Become a Successful Professional

By Volker Sorger, George Washington University | Posted: 7 November 2016

Every student is concerned with one and the same detail: to get a good job and be a successful professional. The Arizona chapter invited me to not talk about my groups nanophotonic research which focuses on novel opto-electronic device physics, emerging material such as TMDs and TCOs, and plasmonics. Here, I was asked to talk about what it takes to be successful after graduation. I broke this question down into thee aspects:

  1. Knowing the Rules
  2. Knowing Yourself
  3. Starting your Path
We learn the details of physics, optics, and electronics in school. But we seldom learn rules of how-to-get-the-job, or what the other side looks for. Graduating from a top university essentially guarantees an interview, but it does not guarantee the job offer. Hence the question arises, how to get the offer? First of all, we need to recognize that all decision on hiring (after an interview) and promotions are made by humans, and not machines. In fact, 75% of hiring decisions are made based on ‘finding-a-good-match’, rather than technical skills. Interestingly, the situation is rather similar to dating; both sides find each other interesting, but are unsure whether they want to be proceed together. The job interview is therefore more likely like dating, and knowing the rules is key. 

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Lab Visits - An Investment That Is Worth It

By Chad Husko, Argonne National Laboratory | Posted: 2 November 2016

Dear OSA members,
This is the fourth in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. You can find earlier posts on visits to Barcelona and Quebec, and OSA FiberTech in Sydney.

In this post I will discuss a recent trip Down Under to visit our colleagues at the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Brisbane. This follows on from attending the OSA conference in Sydney.

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Running Our Own Conference

By University of Aveiro OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 7 October 2016

In July, the University of Aveiro OSA Student Chapter fully organized, for the first time, a two days’ conference. In fact, it is not the first time our Student Chapter participates in the organization of an event, but always in collaboration with other Chapters or other persons. This time, the organization was entirely our responsibility. The conference, which was called ‘OptoFusion – Conference on Optics in Industry’, took place at Instituto de Telecomunicações, in Aveiro, and was a celebration in Portugal of the 100 years of The Optical Society (OSA) and, at the same time, joined academy and industry in turn of a single objective. 

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My Summer Trip to India

By Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, University of Waterloo | Posted: 16 September 2016

Over the summer I visited India, more specifically Kolkata, where I was a keynote speaker at the 3rd International Conference on Optoelectronics and Applied Optics (Optronix 2016). In addition, I visited with the OSA Student Chapter at the University of Engineering and Management/Institute of Engineering and Management in Kolkata.  I also visited the student chapter at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur.  This was a short, but very filled schedule.

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Understanding Multi-Photon Bio-Imaging

By Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, OSKAR | Posted: 6 September 2016

On the 29th of June 2016, Optics Students Karlsruhe e.V. (OSKar) hosted an OSA Traveling Lecturer at the Light Technology Institute (LTI), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The lecture program is sponsored by The Optical Society. This year we are honored to have invited the OSA Fellow, Professor Chris Xu from Cornell University, USA to fly to Karlsruhe, Germany and give a presentation on multi-photon bio-imaging to the students and professors in KIT. The professor was invited by OSKar’s president, Xiang Gao. They knew each other since 2014 summer in Peking, China and still keep in contact. Though the main focus of the talk was specialized on the improved multi-photon imaging techniques, there are many students and professors of different backgrounds and research areas who attended. Professor Xu showed us the latest achievement in his laboratory, i.e. the deep imaging down to millimeter below the surface of a living mouse’s brain by using 2 and 3-photon-absorption. In the images he showed, we could clearly see the structure and topology of the neurons, which were not yet discovered to such detailed level before. That should be attributed to the multi-photon in vivo bio-imaging methods. The audience was amazed by the excellent research work in Professor Xu’s group and attractive presentation style. 

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Going Back to the Basics

By Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (I.I.T. Delhi) | Posted: 6 September 2016

The IIT Delhi OSA Student Chapter hosted OSA Ambassador Dr. Arti Agrawal from City University, London as a Traveling Lecturer. The talk was on Finite Element Method for Photonics and Optics. She covered some of the key principles of numerical methods (for photonics) and shown some examples of different classes of methods. She explained the basics of FEM and steps involved in the method, with some examples. She also discussed the principle of writing code for such a method as well as some tips on best usage of commercial software. The talk was attended by students from different background like Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics and pure physics who belonged to all levels like BTech, Mtech, PhD etc as well as faculty members. The talk was very helpful for the students at our institute as it gave them insight into the applications of commercial software based on FEM in their respective research areas. She also interacted with the chapter members personally and gave them advice on their future research maneuvers. She also gave new and interesting ideas for our future chapter activities. Overall, the traveling lecture was a successful event for the students. Thank you to OSA for providing the Traveling Lecturer Program. 

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Life after ICFO: A PhD is Not Enough

By Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) Student Chapter | Posted: 5 July 2016

On June 2nd 2016, the ICONS student chapter hosted Prof.Giovanni Volpe (Assistant Professor, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey) a former ICFOnian as a part of OSA´s Ambassador and Traveling Lecturer Programs. The visit of Professor Volpe was beneficial in multiple ways. Being a former ICFOnian, Professor Volpe was able to gives us first-hand experience about life after a PhD in photonics from our institute. His talk titled: 'Life after ICFO: A PhD is Not Enough’ gave us a detailed account of his career after ICFO and how a career does not always have to be a perfectly predictable sequence and how sometimes changing fields can be fruitful. It was encouraging to know that his involvement in outreach and other student chapter activities has helped him in the long run.

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Traveling Around India

By Arti Agrawal, City University | Posted: 5 July 2016

I had the opportunity to travel to India as a travelling lecturer in April. In visiting 3 cities and several chapters (holding joint events) I had some amazing experiences. 

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Going Back Where It All Began

By Giovanni Volpe, University of Gothenburg | Posted: 5 July 2016

On June 2-3 2016, I have visited the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO - the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. I was hosted by the Vice-President of the Student, Kavitha Kalavoor, and I had the opportunity to meet several of the other Officers of the Student Chapter.

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Light Beyond the Lab: Putting Your Research Skills to Work

By Chad Husko, Argonne National Laboratory | Posted: 29 June 2016

This is the second in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. In case you missed my last post, you can find it here.
In this blog post I will discuss a recent trip across the border to Canada to attend the IONS-Quebec conference and to visit INRS-Montreal.
I’ll also give you a glimpse into some professional development pointers I’ve been sharing with the OSA community. In each new post I will comment on different aspects that appear in the live presentation. Today the topic will be ‘Communication skills.’ This is certainly à propos as this specifically came up in the talk of Jean Luc-Dumont (Principiae) at IONS-Quebec.

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A New Force of Awakening

By Harbin Institute of Technology OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 29 June 2016

At May 30th, Doctor Yue Yang from Jupiter Networks, United States arrived at Harbin Institute of Technology and presented to the HIT OSA Student Chapter and the national key laboratory of tunable laser a great report about his research direction: High-speed optical systems and networking functions using orbital-angular-momentum multiplexing. Dr. Yue got his bachelor degree and master degree from Nankai University in Tianjin, after that he continued his research in University of Southern California, and got his doctor degree from there. He focused his research direction to integrated electronics, free-space and fiber optics, optical communication and optical network. After his graduation, he has worked for several companies and now he works in Jupiter Networks, which is a network equipment company. It is a great honor for our HIT OSA Student Chapter to have the choice to invite such a famous researcher with rich work experience in his research direction.

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Putting Your PhD to Work

By Chad Husko, Argonne National Laboratory | Posted: 21 June 2016

The OSA Ambassador program
I’m excited to volunteer in the inaugural year of the OSA Ambassador program. Our goal is to further the professional development skills of our student and Young Professional members.

‘Putting your PhD to work’
To this end, I am focusing on the topic of ‘Putting your PhD to work.’
In brief, the skills learned during an optics degree in are in high demand in many areas outside of optics. My goal is to communicate to optical scientists and engineers about these tremendous opportunities outside academic and industrial career paths and how to seek them out. The following is a summary of the talk.

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A Full Lecturer Experience

By OSA Student Chapter "hbar OMEGA" | Posted: 2 June 2016

On April 13, our student chapter was very pleased to welcome OSA Traveling Lecturer Professor Malvin Carl Teich, professor emeritus at Boston University and Columbia University. He is well known for his seminal book “Fundamentals of Photonics”, co-authored by Bahaa E. A. Saleh. We were very impressed by his curriculum vitae that includes everything from fractal stochastic processes to the study of the information transmission in biological systems.

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A Forum to Celebrate and Exchange Ideas

By XIOPM OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

The XIOPM Student Chapter of The Optical Society held an event on April 27-29 titled, “National Doctoral Academic Forum on Optics and Photonics,” to commemorate The Optical Society’s Centennial. To join the celebration, professors at University of Auckland, University of Science and Technology of China, National Tsing Hua University and students from around 30 universities and institutes were invited to participate in the National Doctoral Academic Forum on Optics and Photonics, as well as in other key activities, such as: lab tours, group photos, awards for best presentations, a Centennial celebration of OSA, and so on.

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An Ambassador to Inspire Us All

By Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) Student Chapter | Posted: 13 May 2016

On April 1st it was raining… it was raining a lot! But nothing stops an OSA Ambassadors. From Argonne National Laboratory (US), Dr. Chad Husko came in Barcelona early in the morning to visit the Institute of Photonic Science (ICFO) in Castelldefels. It was a long day for the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO, named ICONS since Dr. Anne l'Hullier (from Lund University) was giving a plenary talk about her research and ICONS was organizing a round table with her about her scientific experience. We were able to arrange everything and Chad was able to visit some labs during the day thanks to Dr. Niek Van Hulst (Molecular Nanophotonics), Dr. Darrick Chang (Theoretical Quantum-Nano Photonics Group) and Dr. Jens Biegert (Attoscience and Ultrafast Photonics Group and OSA Advisor at ICFO). All visits were enriching for everybody and (we hope) Chad had the opportunity to see how new ICFO is and the potential that our Centre has to develop and host lots of different social and skill-improving activities.

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Leading PhD Students to the Path of Industry

By Washington State University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 13 May 2016

According to a study by The Royal Society, less than 1% of current PhD graduates will become tenured professors. Moreover, approximately 30% of PhD graduates will be unemployed upon graduation. To combat a more competitive job market and fewer academic jobs, Washington State University’s OSA/SPIE student chapter focuses on professional development. Through OSA’s Traveling Lecturer Program, WSU OSA/SPIE hosted Phillip J. Wyatt, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wyatt Technology Corporation. As an industry professional, Dr. Wyatt spoke to transferable skills, job hunting in industry, and what a career in industry really entails.

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Interacting with the Next Generation of Scientists

By Martijn De Sterke, University of Sydney | Posted: 2 May 2016

Since it is a long flight from Sydney to India I decided to combine visits to two different student chapters in a single trip. Arriving in Kolkata late on a Wednesday evening, I spent the Thursday morning at the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI) in Kolkata, a very impressive organization,  and then on by train to Dhanbad, the location of the Indian School of Mines (ISM). Here I spent all of Friday, and then was at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur on the Monday and the Tuesday morning. Over the weekend the students at ISM showed me around in Gaya, one of the holy sites of Buddhism, and on the Sunday it took us most of the day to drive from Dhanbad to Kharagpur. The entire visit was very enjoyable with the students looking after me very well at every stage. 

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Enthusiastic Young Minds Create an Ecosystem of Learning

By OSA Student Chapter of Vilnius University | Posted: 28 April 2016

59th international conference for students of physics and natural sciences “Open Readings 2016” gathered more than 300 enthusiastic young minds in order to create an ecosystem of learning and sharing the experience. The conference took place on 15-18th of March in Vilnius, Lithuania and connected students from all over Europe working in a variety of thrilling topics: from optics and laser physics to the latest applications in biomedicine.

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Visiting the Kansas Optical Society

By Tso Yee Fan, MIT Lincoln Laboratory | Posted: 26 April 2016

The Kansas Optical Society student chapter, based at Kansas State University, is active in running events such as arranging for and hosting OSA Traveling Lecturer and putting together outreach at the University Open House. The chapter has around 20 members and hosted me on a very full day in Manhattan, Kansas. Some of the research activities included ultrafast molecular dynamics, laser development, and ultrafast x-ray science. These activities centered around the J. R. Macdonald Laboratory, which houses multiple short-pulse, Ti-sapphire-based laser systems along with ion sources and accelerators. This is a shared facility for the one of the larger U. S. university AMO physics communities.

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A Lecturer Down Under

By San Francisco State University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 26 April 2016

On Thursday March 17th 2016, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Yuri Kivshar, from the Nonlinear Physics Center at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, through the OSA Traveling Lecturer Program. Dr. Kivshar works for the physics and astronomy department at San Francisco State University in San Francisco California. 

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Developments in Optics and Communications 2016

By OSA Student Chapter of University of Latvia | Posted: 26 April 2016

From the 21st to 23rd of March, the 12th International student and young scientist conference “Developments in Optics and Communications 2016” (DOC 2016) was held in Riga, Latvia. Many brilliant young scientists gathered from different countries to share their scientific work, insights and experiences in various fields related to optics: vision science, optical materials, biophotonics, laser physics and spectroscopy.

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Symposium on Optics

By OSA KULeuven Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

On February 8th and 9th 2016, the KU Leuven OSA student chapter organized a broad symposium on optics. With invited speakers from several European countries, we were able to address a large variety in audience. This was clear from the diverse backgrounds of the students that attended the symposium, ranging from biomedical sciences and (bio)chemistry, to optical engineering. However, all speakers gave a very clear and interesting talk, which could be followed by all of our attendants, master and PhD students alike. The chapter was able to provide participants and speakers with several coffee breaks and delicious lunches, for which we are very grateful to OSA for the grants we received. 

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Motivating to Pursue Your Dreams

By International School of Photonics Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

Professor Kishan Dholakia’s visit was really a great experience for the students of International School of Photonics. His lectures were really informative and impressive speaking on the scale of his presentation skills. There were three illuminating lectures, each of them being interesting in its own ways as the titles: 1. Lights, Camera, Action: Optics in Healthcare, 2. Shaped Beams and Applications for Biomedical Imaging, 3. Let Light Move You: Optical Manipulation.

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Husband and Wife Team

By Technion OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

On the 25th of January 2016, the Technion OSA chapter hosted Professor Margaret Murnane and Professor Henry Keptyn, ultrafast science pioneers and it was a huge success and all thanks to the Traveling Lecturer Program. 

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An Impactful Experience

By Oxford OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

It was a great pleasure for the Oxford OSA student chapter to host Professor Sanders. He was a most experienced OSA ambassador, open to engaging with all of our chapter members as well as other students from the Department and very keen to support the activities of our society. We have been a chapter for 3 years and are still trying to find ways to increase our membership base and expand our activities. We have so far focused on local outreach events in museums and the university, and also hosted a number of talks from local speakers. However, this was the first time that we have taken part in the OSA travelling lecturer program. We feel like the event was a great success and has raised the profile of our chapter within the department.

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Discussing Thin Films

By University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Student Chapter | Posted: 12 April 2016

We invited Dr. George Atanasoff who is a recognized professional in the field of Optical Engineering and a member of Optical Society of America for over 20 years. Dr. Atanasoff started his career as university professor in Physics. Later he gradually transitioned his career into the industry, managing large industrial R&D departments and federal programs for variety of applications, such as optical communications, semiconductors, X-ray, solar and LED. The lecture is a part of The Optical Society’s Traveling Lecturer Program. The lecture was directed towards professionals and scholars in Physics, Material Science and Photonics who wish to expand their practical understanding of optics of surfaces and layered structures. It provided us with valuable information about thin films which are critical element of almost every Photonics application and frequently define the operational limits of the contemporary optical devices and systems. This lecture offered a broader and practical understanding of optics of thin films and multi-layer coatings and their characterization. It began with a general overview of some current problems in Photonics associated with the latest advancement of ultrashort laser pulses and entangled photon applications. It also focused on some theoretical and practical aspects of thin films used in Photonics. A special emphasis was made on the evolution of the optical properties during the film growth and the spectroscopic techniques for monitoring and characterization of thin films and surfaces. A variety of coherency phenomena in thin films and coatings was discussed with some practical ideas on how to use them to deduct physical parameters of the layered structure as it is being made. The lecture ended with a review of several aspects of the physical, statistical and phenomenological modeling of processes for deposition of thin films and multi-layer coatings.
This lecture enabled us to spread the word about The Optical Society and to attract new members to join our chapter.

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Learning From Our Peer

By State University of Aerospace Instrumentation | Posted: 1 April 2016

The lecture started with an introduction from St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation OSA chapter president, Vasily Kazakov. He talked about the research group from the department of Radio Engineering, Electronics and Communications and their outreach activities. Then he gave the floor to Arseny Zhdanov, PhD student of University of South Florida, who started his presentation with overview of OSA, membership benefits, published journals and organized conferences. The main part of his lecture covered his experience as a PhD student in the United States, trending research topics, and innovative approaches. He also pointed out that a student membership from OSA can definitely professional help students early in their career.

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Sharing My Experience With Others

By Enkeleda Balliu, Mid Sweden University | Posted: 25 March 2016

Amazed from the flow of students on bicycle and the majesty of Thermotechnical Institute immerse into the Arenberg park … this was the start of the marvelous experience as a Traveling Lecturer at OSA/SPIE Student Chapter at KU Leuven.

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